Debate: Should Canada tax sugary drinks?

Obesity has been blamed for a lot in the past few years: harming the planet, the early onset of puberty,

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Obesity has been blamed for a lot in the past few years: harming the planet, the early onset of puberty, daytime sleepiness‘the list goes on.

But what’s to blame for obesity?

Lately, experts say it’s sugar’specifically, high fructose corn syrup, which has been added to everything from bread, to cereal and soft drinks, since the ’70s.

A Harvard study from 2006 blamed sugary drinks in particular.

‘Sweeteners added to sports beverages and juice drinks are particularly troubling because many people think those drinks are healthful. But studies have shown that people don’t cut back on their overall calorie intake to offset the extra calories from such beverages,’ the study’s authors wrote.

Six years later, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg plans to limit single servings of sugary drinks to 16 ounces at restaurants and other public venues, and the American Medical Association has voted in favour of a policy that promotes taxation of sugar-sweetened beverages.

But what about Canada?

According to Health Canada, the number of Canadians who are overweight or obese has increased dramatically over the past 25 years to two out of three.

Proposed solutions have included everything from adding a 20 percent tax to unhealthy foods, to banning school bake sales and holding anti-obesity exhibits.

Given the latest research that says sugar is to blame, should Canada follow America’s example and tax sugary drinks?

-Katharine Watts, Associate Web Editor

Related:
Is Canada stuck on the road to obesity?
5 ways Canadians are fighting obesity
10 shocking sources of sugar

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